Mirwaiz denounces his repeated house detention on Fridays

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Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

SRINAGAR — Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today strongly denounced his repeated house detention, especially on Fridays, aimed at preventing him from delivering the Friday sermon at central Jamia Masjid Srinagar and participating in obligatory Friday prayers.

Mirwaiz in a statement mentioned that after his release on September 22, 2023 from four years of continued house detention since August 2019, he was only permitted to go to Jamia Masjid on three Fridays. Since then, every Friday, he has been put under house arrest without any reason provided by the authorities.

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“Since October 13, Jamia Masjid itself was locked to people for 10 consecutive Fridays, and it was only last week that people were allowed to offer Friday prayers there. However, the duration of this permission remains uncertain while the ban on me continues. The authorities whimsically open or close the central Jamia Masjid to Muslims for prayers without accountability, and no one can inquire why,” he said.

He said this arbitrariness, disregard for religious rights and sentiments of Muslims, and strong-arm tactics of the authorities, even on the basic human principle of allowing the practice of religion uninterrupted, are telling signs of the time and situation we are living in. It also mocks the authorities’ statements claiming that ‘things are great in Jammu & Kashmir, and I am a free man who can go anywhere.’

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Mirwaiz reiterated his belief that repression of any kind, including on religious rights, cannot bring or maintain “peace.” He urged those in charge of decision-making to revisit this policy, considering historical precedents and adopting a long-term perspective.

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